TEL AVIV – The IDF on Tuesday concluded a major spontaneous drill simulating a future war against Gaza-based terror groups.
The three-day exercise involved forces from all over the military, including infantry units, the Armored Corps, intelligence corps and the Israel Air Force.
The drill was designed to test the military’s readiness for various combat situations. The Southern Command drill included rapid deployment, live-fire, combined air support and auxiliary assistance.
The exercise also practiced urban warfare techniques with night fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and tanks.
“The multi-branch drill was meant to test the capabilities and operational readiness of the forces for a campaign in the Gaza Strip,” a statement from the military said.
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) February 26, 2019
Newly appointed IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi joined the drill on Tuesday and spoke with soldiers and commanders.
Even though it was a surprise announcement, the army said on Sunday the drill had been planned as part of its training schedule.
A dramatic flareup of violence has unfolded along the Gaza border in recent weeks, with riots breaking out almost daily.
The drill came on the heels of a warning by former IDF Ombudsman Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brick that the military was unprepared for a large-scale attack.
UN Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov also recently expressed his concern that war between Israel and Gaza was on the horizon.
“With the prospects of intra-Palestinian reconciliation dimming, the people of Gaza feel more and more left to their own devices — with no representation, no relief and no way out,” he told the UN Security Council.
“The Palestinians, who are the weaker people in the conflict, need international support more than ever,” he said.